What do the Packers need to do to get back to the Super Bowl?


With Aaron Rodgers leading the team, the Green Bay Packers have as good of a chance to get to the Super Bowl as any of the other 31 NFL teams.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports photograph

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and as a fan of the Green Bay Packers, I’m super jealous.

I’m super jealous of Peyton Manning; super jealous of the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson; heck, I’m even super jealous of Richard Sherman.

It’s a Super Day … we are all enjoying our snacks, our beverages, the big screen TVs that have the likes of Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin yelling at us … well, maybe we’re not enjoying that, but we are wishing deep down that it was the Green Bay Packers that were playing in this game.

2013 started out promising. The Packers defense was getting it done, Aaron Rodgers was leading the offense, Eddie Lacy was showing why he was to eventually become the league’s offensive rookie of the year.

Then all hell broke loose on the night of Nov. 4. Rodgers went down with a fractured clavicle, the Packers quarterback situation fell apart, the defense couldn’t get off the field and seemed to get gashed game after game as the free-fall through November had Packers fans hoping for a miraculous healing of Rodgers’ clavicle.

Even though the team somehow won the NFC North Division and hosted a playoff game, we all knew deep down that this team just didn’t have what was needed to get to the big game … that was a consistent defense and an offense that was really clicking at the right time.

However, we know this team is close; we know that with Aaron Rodgers at the helm of the offense that the Packers always have a chance to win games and are maybe a couple of players and a few injuries short of making it back to the big game.

Here’s a short list of needs the Packers have that could get them back into the Super Bowl conversation:

• Two young defensive linemen who will be contributors to a deep rotation that can stop the run and put consistent pressure on the quarterback;

Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett needs help. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

• At least a couple more linebackers who can play inside or outside and can grasp a complicated system drawn up by Dom Capers;

• The development on another safety to complement Morgan Burnett and to work well with rest of the defensive backfield;

• They need to re-sign Sam Shields and keep Tramon Williams on the field and playing at the level he was at in late 2013;

• They need cornerback Casey Hayward to come back in 2014 fully healed and ready to play;

• They need Brian Bulaga to come back fully healed and ready to play in 2014;

• They need to re-sign Jordy Nelson so that he doesn’t hit the free agent market;

• They need to extend the contract of Randall Cobb to keep him in the fold for another four or five years;

• They need to either sign Matt Flynn and/or draft a quarterback with the innate skills to run Mike McCarthy’s offense;

• Most of all, they need to find a way to keep their players healthy. Injuries have affected this team like no other. The coaching and training staff have to do whatever necessary to keep players on the field and performing at their best.

Aaron Rodgers has to stay healthy, as do players on the entire team. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Are the Packers destined for the Super Bowl in 2014 if they do all this?

They have as good of a shot as any of the other 31 teams.

I can say that if they can accomplish these steps, they will have taken the steps that could make it happen.